How simple tools create location-independent collaboration for Monto and La Biosthétique

Monto is a powerful advertising agency from Zug and is dedicated to tasks such as corporate design, sales promotion, event concepts and many more. Essentially, Monto is the agency behind La Biosthétique s communication measures - and is thus part of the beauty brand from Paris and Pforzheim.

The agency employs 12 people in the areas of project management, creation and administration – but the work is coordinated with hundreds of La Biosthétique employees worldwide in over 10 languages. And it was precisely this circumstance that led to increased coordination and project management efforts. However, frequently used and widespread technologies such as e-mails and file servers are not suitable for collaborative work and are therefore no longer state-of-the-art.

Why Project Management of all things?

YOUNITY counts content management, marketing automation and omni-channel communication among its core disciplines. So how come we were also called in for the project management challenges at hand?

With the creation of YOUNITY in winter 2014, we were also looking for a project management tool that could withstand the dynamic and demanding requirements of IT projects and enable simple, location-independent collaboration. We found Teamwork. And to this day, despite constant changes such as from waterfall to agile or increasingly demanding necessary integrations, we have been able to continuously develop and expand Teamwork and its modules. As a result, we have never had to (or even wanted to) consider another system for our core business. Due to our high expectations and the fact that we always want to make maximum use of functionalities and digital information, we are sure that we have found a very good project management tool. This is why we were able to do good in this area with Teamwork’s solution for Monto.

From briefings to projects – just a few clicks

An agency usually starts with a briefing that it receives from its clients. The goal was to digitise and integrate this step. We have therefore installed a ticket system upstream for the receipt and communication of briefings. Teamwork Desk offers all the advantages you would expect from a ticket system. Even with a few simple clicks and configurations, a customer portal can be made available for opening and managing tickets (or briefings). It is precisely this client portal that will replace all other types of briefings in the future. All stakeholders of a campaign will be able to collaborate in a simple and uncomplicated digital and centralised way.

Once the briefing phase has been completed and all relevant information for the project has been clarified, Monto employees can create a project in Teamwork Projects from the ticket at the touch of a button. Of course, all important information from the briefing is included and the relationship to the original ticket remains. A smart automatism that can also be expanded at any time without great effort.

To be honest, such automations cannot always be solved with the tools themselves. Therefore, microservices offer the advantage that they provide the majority of their API, which can be used by a central service.

Zapier is exactly such a service. With so-called “Zaps”, an interface between two microservices can be built comparatively easily and quickly. And it is precisely this service that was used to bring about perfect cooperation between the ticket (briefing) and the project. However, “Zaps” should be checked and controlled from time to time, as the different software manufacturers can also publish new APIs that could possibly change the interface behaviour. In other words, extremely dynamic and simple, but somewhat more exposed to change.

Once the project is open, the Monto team can fully rely on the strengths of Teamwork Projects. We were mainly helpful in making the most important basic configurations and setting up various triggers, which we know from years of experience with their advantages and disadvantages. Not much else had to be done, because the most important thing is the “doing”.

Performance needs training

Products like Teamwork are only as good as they are used. And it is only normal that the full potential of such technology is not used initially. The possibilities that suddenly open up with central ticket and project management are still far too unknown. The most important thing is to work with it, to realise and implement optimisations on an ongoing basis. This is because the product is easy to use, allows adjustments to be made in no time at all and enables smart automation using Zapier – and thus with thousands of other microservices.

Integrated stakeholders

In the project, all stakeholders can be integrated and cooperate very easily with such tools. In this way, essential factors are created in the project, such as:

  • Transparency
  • Planning security
  • Communication
  • Collaboration

A centralised project management helps to build single-source-of-truth and to realise projects with more joy.

Rapid agile configuration

The complete integration of Teamwork Projects, Teamwork Desk and Zapier was implemented in an agile way by a small dev team. Customer requirements were configured directly in the tool and released by the product manager or the business. This also made it easy to respond to new needs during implementation.

As it turned out later, the documentation of information was also to be digitalised, for which we additionally provided Teamwork Spaces. The perfect complement to document the company’s content in a modern and digital way, because other stakeholders can easily participate here as well. Implemented with the dev team within a few minutes.

What’s next?

Of course, you opt for microservices to keep your finger on the pulse. You drive a small dynamic racing boat because it is fast and agile. It can respond very well to individual needs. Monoliths, on the other hand, with their size and experience, offer stability above all – which is probably more like a cruise ship.<


And now the question is, where is the journey going? We are convinced that microservices are the right choice, especially for small to medium-sized dynamic companies. Only they can keep up with the drive of this culture. Monto is also convinced of this and is starting with global collaboration based on teamwork. And the next mission is already in the starting blocks: Replacing local file servers through the use and integration of file hosting services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, etc. Because these microservices also speak the same language as Teamwork, Zapier and co. Let’s get started!

Here you can get a teamwork trial for free

Image: Vlada Karpovich, Pexels

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